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This Is An MD's All-Time Favorite Antioxidant For Metabolic Health*

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April 16, 2022
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Metabolic health is key when it comes to supporting whole-body well-being, including heart health, blood sugar levels, and even immunity. And among the variety of ways to measure your metabolic markers—blood sugar, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, to name a few—there's one key metric you might want to focus on more: your uric acid levels. (Don't worry; we'll explain exactly what this means.)

As board-certified neurologist David Perlmutter, M.D., author of Drop Acid, explains on the mindbodygreen podcast, reducing uric acid is "a secret to regaining control over your metabolic health." And guess what? Important bioflavonoids can help balance your levels. Below, Perlmutter shares his all-time favorite antioxidant for doing just that.

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Why a neurologist recommends quercetin for metabolic health.

First, a little refresher on uric acid: When the body metabolizes fructose and purines (substances that are found in both the body and foods), it generates uric acid in the blood. And according to Perlmutter, high levels can affect your metabolic health at large: Uric acid informs the body that it's in a situation where it needs to store fat and water. This phenomenon is key for our species' survival, but you can see how things might go awry if it occurs too often.

Perlmutter explains that consuming fructose and sodium can result in elevated uric acid levels, but that's not quite the end of the story: "There's an enzyme called xanthine oxidase that allows the formation of uric acid. If you can block xanthine oxidase, you can reduce uric acid formation," he says.

Despite the technicality of this bodily process, there is one simple thing that you can add to your routines to support this process: "It turns out, you can target that enzyme with quercetin." Quercetin, as a reminder, is a powerful flavonoid that neutralizes free radicals and is connected to some pretty serious immune support1.* And, well, we can add metabolic health to its list of benefits: "One recent study from England showed that 22 young males with elevated uric acid had an 8% drop of uric acid in just two weeks2 by taking 500 milligrams of quercetin [per day],"* says Perlmutter.

How do you get your fill of quercetin, you ask? Quercetin can be found in plenty of fruits and vegetables, like red apples, onions, and tomatoes. But to ensure you get enough daily, it can be helpful to fold in a targeted supplement, like mindbodygreen's immune support+, which delivers 250 milligrams of quercetin per serving.

Not to mention, this formula features the functional and immune-centric fiber beta-glucan while also providing an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin D3, and zinc bisglycinate in each serving. These three essential micronutrients all affect your metabolic health in some form or fashion.* For instance: Vitamin D promotes insulin sensitivity and healthy levels of blood sugar, vitamin C influences fat metabolism, and zinc can help balance blood sugar3.*

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The takeaway.

According to Perlmutter, consuming quercetin is a highly effective way to reduce the formation of uric acid and, thus, support your metabolic health.* For more of his suggestions on this important (and sneaky) metabolic marker, check out these diet tweaks.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.